ASTROLABE, NOT SIGNED, NOT DATED
This is a small and neatly produced
astrolabe with a diameter of 145 mm and thickness of 4 mm. The
kursi is plain. It has a horizontal slit, the purpose of which
is not known. It is suspended by a rather large ring to a wooden
stand. This wooden stand may not be original. There are only two
plates serving the latitude 270 (Agra), 290
(Delhi) and 320 (Lahore). The fourth side has multiple
horizons. There is no geographical gazetteer. The ‘Ankabut is
simple but elegant with just 23 leaf-shaped star pointers.
This ‘Ankabut closely resembles that of an astrolabe made by
Muhammad Salih of Thatta in 1704/1663, which is now at the Prince of
Wales Museum, Mumbai. Therefore, the present one also can be
attributed to Muhammad Salih, who was a noted instrument-maker of
the 17th century. He did not belong to the Lahore family
as can be seen in the style of production.